I was looking over an old journal of mine, and came across a list of steps that I wrote down in 2005 to follow when I was struggling with sin in my life. I had long forgotten writing these down, but realized that I still approach my issues using some of these steps, so I would like to share them with you today.
Step 1: Admit that I am powerless over my own problems; I cannot manage them on my own.
I am completely discouraged, I lie in the dust. (Psalm 119:25)
Step 2: Understand that God can restore my life.
Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word. I am but a pilgrim here on earth. How I need a map! Your commands are my chart and guide. I long for your instructions more than I can tell. (Psalm 119: 18-20)
Step 3: Submit my will and my life over to the Lord.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and never lean on your own understanding. In all of your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path. (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
Step 4: Make a searching moral inventory of myself.
Let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. (Galations 6:4)
Step 5: Admit to God, myself and another person the exact nature of my wrongs.
Confess to one another therefore your faults, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. (James 5:16)
Step 6: Be ready to allow the Lord to remove all these defects.
Do not resent it when the Lord chastens and corrects you, for His punishment is proof of love. Just as a father punishes a son he delights in to make him better, so the Lord corrects you. (Proverbs 3:11-12)
Step 7: Humbly ask the Lord to remove my shortcomings.
But if we confess our sins to Him, He can be depended on to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong. (1 John 1:9)
Step 8: Make a list of anyone I have harmed, and be willing to make amends.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)
Step 9: Make direct amends if possible, unless doing so would injure them or others.
Bear with each other and forgive freely as the Lord forgives you. (Colossians 3:13)
Step 10: Continue to take personal inventory daily and promptly admit any wrong.
Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better. Yes, you must be a new and different person, holy and good. Clothe yourself with this new nature. Stop lying to each other. Tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves. (Ephesians 4: 23- 25)
Step 11: Through prayer and meditation, improve my conscious contact with God, praying for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out.
Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with His will. Plead with Him reminding Him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for Christians everywhere. (Ephesians 6:18)
Step 12: Using these steps to gain spiritual awakening on how to deal with the problems and issues I struggle with in my own life, carry the message to others.
It is God himself, in His mercy, who has given us this wonderful work of telling the good news to others, so we never give up. (2 Corinthians 4:1)
I want to encourage you today if you feel that you are unable to overcome sin in your life, you’re not alone. Every believer struggles with sin. Satan is the one feeding you the lie that you have to hide your struggle because no one else would understand or be able to accept you if you admit it. No matter how “permanent” that sin feels, do not believe the lie that you will never be able to beat it.
Take it one day at a time. Have an accountability partner who understands your struggle and will not only pray with you, but also encourage and rebuke you when needed. The Bible is a resource that many Christians overlook in the battle against sin. Read it, meditate on it, memorize it, apply it. Pray continuously. Anytime you are faced with sin, ask the Lord to help you overcome it.